Executive order calls for the adoption of EMV
Late last week, President Obama signed an executive order that will speed up the adoption of EMV-standard payment cards in the United States. EMV is an acronym referring to security and payment standards introduced by Europay, MasterCard, and Visa. These standards involve the use of microchips used for payment cards rather than the traditional magnetic strips. EMV standards are considered by financial organizations to allow for more secure transactions.
EMV cards can help improve payment security by a significant degree
EMV standards have found little traction in the U.S. due to the country’s regulatory structure, but a growing number of retailers are beginning to embrace these standards more aggressively. This has placed some pressure on lawmakers to push for greater adoption. Recent cyber attacks have also highlighted the need for more security in the financial sector and EMV standards may be an adequate solution.
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Mobile commerce highlights risks that exist in the financial sector
One of the reasons that security issues are gaining more attention has to do with the growing popularity of mobile payments. The mobile commerce space is still relatively young and is exposed to various security issues that make it popular among malicious groups. Despite these security issues, retailers have been quick to enter into the mobile commerce space, offering consumers services that may be somewhat risky to use. EMV security standards do not focus on the mobile space specifically, but they could provide a foundation upon which mobile payments can be made more secure.
Country to transition toward EMV cards in October 2015 for the sake of payment security
Federal lawmakers have confirmed that the U.S. would begin the transition to EMV cards in October of next year. Many of the country’s prominent retailers are expected to have the tools needed to support this transition by that time. Beginning in October, EMV cards will be issued to those with credit and debit cards from some of the country’s largest financial institutions. This may represent one of the most significant steps the country has made in payment security in recent years.